The almost unthinkable is to happen: Donald Trump has won the Republucan nomination for US President. In the process, as the Guardian put it:
Trump now looks almost certain to inherit a party he has left bitterly divided through a brand of politics defined by innuendo, race-baiting and outright demagoguery.
Not much better could be said of many of the other Republican candidates.
So why Trump? I think the clue is in the name: his money has trumped everyone else. That and blatant and nasty populism. If ever there was evidence that money and good government are an unlikely mix then this is it.
Could it happen in the UK? Elements of it are, of course. The Conservatives were clearly in breach of the spirit and maybe the letter of election spending law in 2015, as Channel 4 have revealed. They are seeking to limit the spending of their opponents, wholly inappropriately, and where they cannot a gag is being sought instead. The portents for democracy are not good.
And all of this does, at least in part, fly in the face of what many seem to want. Look at the stories about Leicester City: one of the things that appeals to many about their success is that it has not been unduly bought. This is a relatively cheaply assembled team based on talent, team spirit and shared endeavour. Of course there are egos involved; it would be impoissible for it to be otherwise. But what has worked so well is the ability to work together.
The Trump approach and that of the libertarian right is the antithesis of this. That policy of self interest saps the spirit and destroys the collective will on which most things of value are built.
Does Trump worry me in that case? Of ciourse he does, profoundly. I have to hope for the sake of the US and the world that he does not win in November. But I do not discount anything.